Ottawa LRT inquiry will include companies that built trains, system

Ten groups have been given full standing to participate in the provincial inquiry into the procurement, oversight and 2021 derailments of Ottawa's light rail system. It will start in June out of the University of Ottawa.

Commission into Confederation Line problems will be livestreamed out of university courtroom

This LRT train derailed between Tremblay and Hurdman stations on Ottawa's Confederation Line in September 2021. No one was injured. (Nicholas Cleroux/Radio-Canada)

Ten groups have been given full standing to participate in the provincial inquiry into aspects of Ottawa's troubled light rail system, which starts in June out of the University of Ottawa.

The province has said the inquiry will look into the technical issues that led to two derailments of the Confederation Line last year, as well as the procurement process, the city's oversight of the project, and its adherence to laws and safety standards. 

A Monday news release from the commission said these participants include the province, the city, its transit union, Alstom — the company that built the trains for the east-west Confederation Line — and representatives from builders Rideau Transit Group and maintenance managers Rideau Transit Maintenance.

In a decision dated March 3, inquiry commissioner William Hourigan said the approved groups were significant players in the bid, construction, launch and operation of the line. In part, they can suggest and cross-examine witnesses and make closing arguments.

All were part of a group of individuals and organizations that had applied before the Feb. 28 deadline. Three more applicants will get limited standing to provide written submissions or information on background.

The commission said Monday its hearings will start on an unspecified date in June out of the University of Ottawa's Ian G. Scott Courtroom. A livestream will be available to watch at a nearby auditorium or online.

Two public meetings are scheduled for May 25 and 26 out of the Shaw Centre where people will be able to share their views with the commission.

Hourigan has an Aug. 31 deadline to submit a final report to the province's transportation minister with findings on what happened, as well as recommendations to help address them. The minister can give an extension of up to three months if needed.


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